It's that time again!  There were plenty of great posts out in the blogosphere this last week.  I had a tough time narrowing down which ones to include into today's Round-up.  I hope everyone enjoys these as much as I did.

In "1000 Hours to a Slimmer, More Financially Fit You," Fabulously Broke lays out the keys to success, and speculates that one can create a good habit within 1000 hours.  Check it out and see if you agree.

Few things in the finance world are as confusing as shorting a stock. You may not have even ever heard of "shorting," but it can be an important component of your investment portfolio, so let's look a little closer.

What is Shorting a Stock?

Recently, my husband switched jobs, and in an effort to create financial balance among his multiple retirement accounts, he attempted to roll his two outstanding accounts into his newest job's 401(k).  Both of the original accounts were denied rollover, so we had to investigate the 401(k) rules to determine our best strategy.  Let's look at what I found.

What's a Rollover?

So, you've decided that one of your New Year’s Resolutions is going to be investing in stocks.  Learning about how to analyze and value stocks is a lesson that pays off tremendously over the course of an investing life. Of course you will have to do your homework first.

Stock analysis can be broken up into two camps: fundamental analysis and technical analysis.  While many people will get caught up in which is "better," first we need to understand what each one is.

Fundamental Analysis

Exchange-Traded Funds, or ETFs, can be mystifying to the most hardened investor. If a mutual fund and a stock were to fall in love and have a baby, ETFs would most likely be the bouncing baby produced. ETFs are like mutual funds that are traded on a stock exchange and can offer significant flexibility to your portfolio.

What is an Exchange-Traded Fund?

Sometimes you just need a reminder that you're doing a good job...and so does everyone else. I was reminded of this the other night when my hubby and I finally got around to watching the Thanksgiving episode of one of our favorite TV shows -- NBC's "Parenthood."

You might be thinking, what on earth does a TV show have to do with investing in anything?  But one particular scene in this Thanksgiving episode really got me to thinking about moms in general, and about how much we need to support and invest in each other. Let me set the stage:

From Looking Back to Looking Ahead

The time has finally arrived—the day that never comes:  Tomorrow.  We have surpassed the first decade of the 21st century and have now embarked on the next.  If you’re reading this, that means you’ve made it.  Congratulations and Happy New Year!  From recaps to resolutions, the Internet is now brimming with old regrets and new reasons for hope. 

Here are some of the posts you all shared.  I enjoyed reading them all.  Each of you offered unique sense of inspiration to continue on into the next year.

We talked earlier this week about mutual funds. Historically mutual funds allowed us to pick a fund manager and have him manage our funds, as well as other investors', in a large pool. In recent years however, a different kind of mutual fund has become very popular, the index fund.

What is an Index Fund?

I come from a family who built their worth from real estate.  My grandparents started out poor, and they bought a run-down house for a song.  Before their first child was born, they poured blood, sweat and tears into renovating the house.  Then, they sold that house to move up the real estate chain, purchasing a new home across town.  This house was also renovated and sold, while two more children were added to the mix. 

See? You can take more than just a story from a kids' flick!

Never follow a white rabbit.
Don’t let your stock broker or financial advisor rush you to jump into a decision -- you could end up in a money pit. Think carefully before you make a move, and always feel free to get a second opinion.

Pinch yourself if it feels like you're dreaming.